UNBELIEVABLE! We actually pulled it off. Our underdog, ragtag, come-from-behind campaign defeated Measure A1. The zoo will not have more than $100 million of our tax dollars to destroy our beautiful Knowland Park. And that’s a good thing, because the creatures that already live there depend on that habitat. (More about them in a bit.)
About RuthRuth Malone is an Oakland resident since 1983, a founding member and co-chair of Friends of Knowland Park and a longtime Oakland neighborhood activist. Since 2007, she has been working to educate and organize environmentalists, park users, and community members to protect the park. In her day job, she is a professor of nursing and health policy at University of California, San Francisco, where she helps students study the links between health and political, social and natural environments, and conducts research on the tobacco industry and its efforts to thwart public health efforts worldwide. Ruth Malone’s Reflections Blog offers a combination of reflective essays and updates from the Protect Knowland Park Campaign, linking the fight to protect Knowland Park to broader environmental and ethical issues.
What a week! The campaign to defeat Measure A1 (the zoo’s parcel tax measure) in the November election has really started to heat up. We have been incredibly busy meeting with key individuals and groups to explain why Measure A1 isn’t “A-1”. So far, our efforts are bearing fruit—most of the groups we have spoken with have decided to oppose the parcel tax measure; a few have decided to take no position (including two that the zoo had been trying to woo before we found out about this measure). Continue Reading →
We filed our Argument Against the zoo’s parcel tax measure (which has been given the title Measure A1 (!)) last week. Five organizations signed the argument: California Native Plant Society, Friends of Knowland Park, Alameda Creek Alliance, California Native Grasslands Association and Resource Renewal Institute (the parent group of our Coalition Partner, Defense of Place). If you are a member of any of these groups, please email or call them and thank them for their staunch support. The Sierra Club also authorized us to include the factual statement that they had opposed the Knowland Park expansion project—again, let them know you appreciate this.
For many groups, it takes real courage of conviction to go against the zoo’s political machine. Continue Reading →
It’s been an incredibly busy week! Coalition partners have been meeting with numerous organizations and key individuals as we develop our campaign against the zoo parcel tax measure that is going on the ballot for November. We’ve had some amazing victories that we can’t share yet, because we’re not quite convinced that all the zoo executive board members who signed up on our supporters list are really supporters (!)(see http://tinyurl.com/9aedhy9) –but we can tell you that when people are given full information about what the Knowland Park expansion would really do to native wildlife and plant habitat, and about how the zoo got this on the ballot at the last possible moment, allowing no time for the usual process groups use to examine the language and determine their positions on ballot measures, they are quick to decide they can’t support it. Continue Reading →
A warm welcome to our Zoo Board Member supporters! As many of you know, we have had such a flurry of people joining us that we have hardly had time to do more than keep adding the email addresses to our database. But recently, going through the list in preparation for our campaign, we discovered that zoo Board President Steve Kane and Board Member B. Reid Settlemier, among others, had signed up as Friends of Knowland Park supporters! Mr. Settlemier had signed up with an email address that didn’t happen to include his last name, but an automatic vacation message let us know who he was. What a great development! Maybe this indicates a change of heart? Fortunately, there is room for ALL the members of the zoo board and its foundation board to join up—room even for the zoo CEO, Dr. Joel Parrott, to sign on and help save the Park–because we have always run a completely transparent campaign.